Volvo XC90 T8 “Highway Robbery”


To launch their new XC90 T8 hybrid, Volvo didn’t create an ad. Instead, under John’s leadership they invented a technology to re-think the way cars are powered.

The XC90 T8 is one of the most powerful Volvos ever built, partly due to the fact that it’s designed to be smart about the way it uses power. So the creative team felt that an exciting way to demonstrate this was to power the XC90 T8 in a smarter and edgier way: by stealing energy from other cars. In other words, the Volvo XC90 T8 would commit “Highway Robbery.”

A peristaltic system was developed to capture energy from cars using only hydraulic power. A mat containing tubes of water served as the main component. When a car drove over the mat, it compressed the tubes and its forward momentum pressured the water through, generating hydraulic power, which was converted into electricity and used to fuel the Volvo XC90 T8.

One look at this beautifully filmed concept and you’ll understand why Highway Robbery stole the show. The campaign generated more than 71 million total media impressions centered around two pieces of video content. This includes 5.3 million video views in two weeks (2.6 million on the 15-second teaser and 2.7 million on the 2-minute long-form version). PR coverage of the activation came from 40 different countries and totaled more than 200 articles. The combined earned media impressions for these articles was more than 55.4 million in North America, an estimated earned ad value of $1.5 million.

It’s safe to say Highway Robbery made quite an impression on the awards circuit as well:

Cannes Lions Silver - Promo & Activation
Cannes Lions Bronze - Design
Cannes Lions Bronze - Media
Clio Bronze - Innovation
One Show Merit - Design
One Show Merit - Direct Marketing

One Show Merit - Print and Outdoor
April, 2016
Grey NYC
Client: John Militello
ECD: Matt O’Rourke
Account Director: Janique Helson
GCDs: João Coutinho, Marco Pupo
AD: Jason Goldshteyn
Production: Bob Partington - 1st Avenue Engineers
ACD/Art Director: Rodrigo Burdman
CD/Copywriter: Natalie Rose
Copywriter: Jason Goldshteyn  
Recognition: AdWeek

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